by Lesley Machon and Laurie Hill
Lesley Machon, Calgary Jewish Academy, Canada
Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge
"Literacy: The Whole Story" is a compelling series of high-quality videos produced by Teachers Media International, a UK-based service dedicated to providing video-based content and resources aimed at the ongoing professional development of educators.
These videos about literacy are aimed at leaders, teachers and support staff and focus on how to bring the subject alive, from alphabet work and phonics to spelling strategies, listening and responding, and interpreting texts.
By Natasha E. Feghali
What could leadership look like in a French Second Language (FSL) classroom? Can we conceptualize a self-run program where students autonomously learn and create within their own capacities? Can we mirror what international schools are doing? In a deeper more philosophical sense, can we help students in a FSL environment become engines of their own learning? I have some thoughts.
In some cases, my role as a French Second Language teacher goes beyond the classroom. I educate in a multicultural community of students from Canadian-born to newcomer families. Working at Eastwood Public School in Windsor, Ontario, for the last three years has given me an opportunity to incorporate different aspects of the French language and culture into my classroom. When I began at this school, students loathed learning a second language. However, I have facilitated an environment that asks students to transform their once negative beliefs and embrace culture, FSL literacy, and a second language while accepting responsibility for their school community and their peers. More importantly, I have asked them to embrace a new mindset.
by Garry Oker, MA
How do we create experiences that brings out the literacy deeply embedded in nature? How do we create an Indigenous worldview that networks Indigenous knowledge so we might better influence the teachers of our youth? Our global challenge is creating “the future of the past.”
by Jim Parsons
Recently I read an online interview with Rey Junco, associate professor at Purdue University and a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. The interview led me to think further about how we might use Twitter in classrooms.
In this little “thinking about,” I hope to both engage those new to Twitter and those experienced with it. For those who know little about Twitter, what is it? How is it used? What does research say about its connection with literacy? For those experienced with Twitter, how can we use it educationally? In short, this “thinking about” is an invitation to share ideas about how Twitter might be used in classrooms?
by Stephen Murgatroyd, PhD
On measures of adult literacy, according to the OECD (see here for a complete report) Canada ranks 10th on scores of adult literacy using the five point scale of literacy widely in use for such comparisons. Ahead of us are Japan, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Estonia, Slovak Republic and Belgium. Put simply: we are at or about the OECD average.
Estimates of the productivity gains from improving literacy in Canada are enormous. The TD Bank Financial Group projected that raising the literacy of Canadians with inadequate reading skills (levels 1 and 2) to an adequate skill level (level 3) would have an economic payoff close to $80 billion a year. Even a one percent improvement in literacy rates nationally would boost Canada’s economy by $32 billion a year. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, these effects are three times as great as for investment in physical capital. As well, raising literacy and numeracy for people with weak and poor skills may have a greater impact on long-run economic growth than investing in more highly skilled graduates.